Shopify customers can now pay in stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) via an integration with Solana Pay, the payment protocol on the Solana blockchain.
It's been a big week for Solana. The big Shopify announcement earlier this week, Shopify customers are now able to pay in US DC by an integration with Solana pay the payment protocol on the Salana Blockchain. Joining us. Now to discuss is the head of strategy at the Solana Foundation which focuses on the adoption and security of the Solana Network. Austin Fera. Welcome to the show, Austin. Thanks for having me on. Thanks for being here. All right, let's talk about this news. Feels like big news after that paypal news. Now we have Shopify uh partnering with Sala. Talk to me a little bit about why us DC for this, why staple coin? Yeah. So US DC is one of the most widely accepted and most reputable stable coins out there. They publish proof of reserves. So for every $1 minted on chain, there's a $1 in a US bank account somewhere and they publish daily reserves of where these assets are actually stored. So when merchants are looking at adopting crypto and using some of the exam uh advantages of Blockchain payments, something like us DC is a really easy entry point because it's very similar to just accepting us dollars via the Visa Network or the Mastercard Network. Did you do any research here? How many merchants are actually looking to accept crypto? So one of the main advantages here is not necessarily that it's crypto, it said it's lower transaction fees and it's instant settlement and you don't have a risk of charge backs. So using us DC and Salana, you're talking about fractions of a penny in transaction fees. And so that is a real advantage over the 2.8 percent or more that credit card processors will charge. So this is really all about giving merchants more opportunities to accept payments from anyone anywhere in the world settle those instantly in us dollars. It's sort of akin to accepting cash, but instead of it being, you know, pieces of paper you're dealing with us DC and so on that fee piece is a big differentiator. But I guess, you know, there's still that education gap. How are you or Shopify? Thinking about educating consumers and merchants on the benefits of sale coins. Yeah, you know, stable coins and any sort of new payment adoption technology. It's really driven by the use cases that both merchants and users need. And so, you know, we've seen that a lot of the stable coin transaction volume in general is folks that are trans uh transferring money across borders, right? They're either send money back home to families or they're trying to buy things overseas and those international interchange rates can be even higher. And so when you're looking at uh the ability to do something like this, you know, as I did this last year where they used us DC on Salana to accept payments for a shoe they were creating and that meant they could take orders from anyone anywhere in the world. They didn't have to worry about fraud or charge backs, um because these things were instantly settled using us DC. And so, you know, this is not necessarily going out to replace credit cards or something like that. This is giving merchants greater opportunity to say we're gonna save some money, we're accepting uh US DC on Sala. And that can really be a, a big unlock for them when they're trying to enter and sell into new markets. Any plans for any other cryptocurrencies to be integrated as part of this partnership. Yeah, one of the great things about Snape is it's an open source uh protocol and an open source standard. So that gives the ability for folks to say they want to enable different types of tokens for different types of stores. So I think us DC and other uh stable coins that would qualify as sort of payment, stable coins, stuff that have proof of reserves. I expect that's probably gonna be the highest adoption. And you know, there's other companies like GMO and XOs that also have those sort of highly regulated, stable coin products. But if someone wants to enable Seoul or Bitcoin on Solana or wrapped Ethereum on Solana, something like that, they could certainly do that as well. But the focus really here today is on stable coins because that is the most natural transition for merchants to go from accepting us dollars via Venmo and paypal and you know, Visa and mastercard and American Express to accepting us dollars via circle and Solana. Do you have any idea on how many merchants that are currently on? Shopify are going to use this integration? Any clue on the numbers here? We don't really have any numbers. Um So far from these integrations, there's a few examples you can see if you go to store dot dot com, you can sort of check out that experience for yourself on the uh the Merch store that foundation runs. But there's a number of other groups in the space that are also looking at at launching this. But you know, there's an education component here, but one of the great pieces of this is Circle has been doing this education work for years and Shopify is also pushing very heavily into the web three space with integrations like this. This is really AAA situation where there's many folks in the ecosystem that are all committed to making sure that merchants understand what they're signing up for if they choose to accept something like us DC on Salana. Um It also unlocks a lot of other types of integrations where suddenly you can distribute NFTS for products that people might buy, uh, you know, the same way you would a sort of digital collectible that is tied to another type of physical item. And so all those sorts of things really become possible when you're transacting on Blockchain, when there's wallet addresses going back and forth, and when you have that sort of instant, uh, confirmation and instant settlement that a network like Solana provides, you know, Shopify is probably the, well, one of the biggest names in online retail, any plans for other partnerships for Salon of Pay that you can tell us about. There's no one else to announce today. I mean, there, there's many companies that are excited about this type of work including large payment processors. Um So I think you'll see more news of this kind over the rest of this year. Um But this is sort of a larger trend where a lot of these companies, especially these large international merchants. They started experimenting with stuff like this in 2021. And it's just taken a little while for the tech to mature enough to a place where a company like Shopify thinks that us DC payments on Salana could be a future of their payment network and, and sort of the offerings they have to e-commerce merchants all over the world. And so this is really exciting to say this is just one of a few people of news uh on sort of payment adoptions and sort of the real world usage of Salana. This really tracks with what Helium and Hive mapper have been doing in other areas uh which are not payment related. But it is this idea of like we're pushing crypto out of the web browser. We're pushing it on to the mobile phone onto the payment terminal uh and really changing the way that people use this stuff from something that is maybe more speculative to something where the utility is really the driving force for adoption when you were working on the partnership with Shopify, was there any concern um from the Shopify side about stable coin regulation and what you know, the future of stable coin regulation could mean for um an integration like this. Yeah, look stable coin regulation, I think is one of those things that actually is going to be a net positive for the industry in the United States. Uh Stable coins are meant to be stable. They're meant to represent real US dollars or euros or any other type of currency in a bank account somewhere. And so this is a, this is a place where that greater assurance that can come from, you know, federal or state regulation that says these are the qualifications for what is a payment. Stable coin could be circle is uh it looks like in compliance with all of those potential uh pieces of regulation that would be coming out. And that could actually be a real, a real gain for the industry to be able to say these are things that both consumers and merchants have assurances in the same way, they have assurances when they're using paypal or Visa that the money is actually there. And so I think that's actually a really positive for the industry if we can get some standardization around what actually a dollar back stable coin is. All right. I wanna change gears now away from the Shop Five Partnership and ask you about a tweet that you tweeted earlier this week. You said Sla's engineer, one of Sla's engineers are building something, but you won't tell anyone but they won't tell anyone what it is. Can you tell us what it is? Have you found out yet? You know, these, these, the, these things pop up and they become sort of little community memes. Um You know, look, the Jordan's working on some interesting new tech that's an open source protocol. Uh This stuff is uh there'll be more information coming soon on what these things look like. But, you know, one of the main pieces that I really love about this ecosystem is a relentless drive to experiment and to try new things. And so this is one of those types of projects where maybe it'll gain adoption, maybe it won't. But there's a lot of exciting new technology being built by all sorts of folks uh on the sla ecosystem, whether it's ecosystem teams, whether it's uh one of the five core engineering groups or whether it's an engineer at Solona Labs who has decided to build something in his spare time. All right. Now, I I got to ask about the sole token. It was mentioned by the SEC in two lawsuits, one against Coinbase and one against uh Binance. It was subsequently delisted from some platforms. I know the SLA Foundation has said that um it does not believe that Seoul is a security. Um Has there been any discourse with the SEC in regards to that? Uh Unfortunately, I can't really talk much about um anything that's kind of ongoing or pending like that. What, what I can say is that, you know, these processes are working their way through and, you know, we, we feel confident in the statements we've made previously publicly. All right. And lastly, um as you know, the, um SEC has won the appeal to who uh um has won the, the chance, I guess to appeal the ripple case, what do you think this means for the industry as we move forward? Uh You know, the, the news we've seen so far out of the ripple case, uh I think is pretty positive for, for the industry. I mean, I that that case was one that a lot of us were watching closely and, you know, appeals are uh a part of the legal system and we shouldn't be afraid of appeals, that's the system working as intended. Um And so we'll see what happens as, as that process continues. I think a lot of us are hoping we might be done with the ripple saga, but maybe we're not Austin. Thank you very much for joining the show this morning. Congratulations on the launch and have a great weekend. Thank you. That was Solana Foundation, Head of Strategy and Communications. Austin.